Harbor view of Charleston SC By Meagan Moore, Guest Contributor

As Charleston SC is a peninsula (and quite literally surrounded by water), it should come as no surprise that many of its residents enjoy spending their leisure time on the water. From lakes, rivers, tidal creeks, the Intracoastal waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of places to put your toes in the water and drift the afternoon away. With more than 500,000 recreational boats registered in the state of South Carolina, finding the ideal, cost effective, and convenient storage location for your boat can be a challenge. To help make things a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of solutions available for storing your boat in Charleston.

The ideal situation would be to store your boat at the end of your very own dock. And homes with private deep water docks in Charleston are a hot commodity. There are several factors to take into consideration before tethering your boat to a dock – chief among them is water depth. If your private dock is on a tidal creek, or otherwise affected by the tide, then water depth may not always be deep enough to keep the boat out of the mud at low tide, so you will need to invest in a boat lift. Community docks, which may allow weekend use or docking on a first-come-first-serve basis, are not always a reliable boat storage option.

If you, like most boat owners, are without a private dock, commercial storage facilities (such as Extra Space Storage, or Life Storage) offer solutions to storing your boat in Charleston. While commercial storage does not offer the convenience of already having your boat waiting for you in the water, it does offer a level of security and peace of mind. With options for covered and uncovered storage, boat owners can rest easy knowing that their boat is safe in a locked and gated facility under security surveillance. Commercial storage is also a great option for those boaters that simply do not have room at home to store their boat, or live in a neighborhood where the HOA convenants don’t allow boats to be kept long-term in the driveway.

For those with a little extra space, storing their watercraft at home might be the best option. Ideally their home will have an extra garage bay to protect the boat from the elements, however plenty of people keep their boats in their yard or driveway (check with your HOA or residential guidelines before parking your boat at home). 

There are other storage solutions out there as well.  Dry-stack storage is a popular option at many of the marinas located around Charleston including Ripley Light Marina, Daniel Island Marina, Magwood Marina & Dry Storage and Shem Creek Marina.  With dry-stack storage, available “concierge ” services are generally what sets one dry-stack facility apart from the other, including having the boat ready when you arrive, to washing and flushing the engines when your day on the water has ended.  Most facilities also have fuel docks, and may even include restrooms with showers. 

Note:  No one storage alternative is better than another, they all have benefits and trade-offs, it’s about determining which storage solution best fits your budget and lifestyle. If you’re in the market for a home with a private dock, a home in a neighborhood with a community dock, a home with a garage for your boat, or any other water lover’s amenity – we’re here to help you find it.